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Great Big Sea Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 11.85 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Play + Up + Sea of No Cares
Price For All Three: CDN$ 31.85

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.

  • Up CDN$ 10.00
  • Sea of No Cares CDN$ 10.00

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Product Details

Product Description


Great Big Sea's third album and first to go multi-platinum, Play established this little band from Petty Harbour, Newfoundland, as one of the country's most popular groups. It's probably the best representation of their early sound, which combined East Coast folk and sea shanty traditions with a polished rock style. Play boasts an array of traditional tunes--including "The Night Pat Murphy Died," "General Taylor," and "Jakey's Gin"-- and these tales of bootlegging and donkey-riding are all given vigorous performances. The band also had hits with the Oysterband's "When I'm Up (I Can't Get Down)" and "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)," which renders the R.E.M. classic as a wild jig. Band members also contribute some fine originals, like singer-guitarist Alan Doyle's ballad "How Did We Get from Saying I Love You..." and singer-bodhran player Sean McCann's equally plaintive "My Apology." Though Play does have a handful of delicate interludes, the disc's energy rarely flags. Producer Danny Greenspoon allows the band's performances to sound as fresh and live as possible, and there are excellent guest contributions by the likes of violinist Oliver Schroer, percussionist Rick Lazar, and Blue Rodeo's Greg Keelor and Jim Cuddy. Only the unlisted bonus track--a pseudo-techno reel--sets a foot wrong. Otherwise, the lively Play seems tailor-made for your next drunken wedding. --Jason Anderson

Product Description

Newfoundland, Canadian Celts' 1996, third-ever release. Includes an interesting cover of Rem's 'End of the World', plus a whole LP's worth of traditional Irish-based songsmithy: 'Night Pat Murphy Died', 'Donkey Riding', 'Greenspond' and more.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two! Four! Out the door!! March 4 2004
Format:Audio CD
This was my first taste of GBS and at first listen it was WOW! This was the most interesting, enjoyable and fun recording released in 1997! They do a great job with Oysterband's "When I'm Up" and the tradtionals are exquisite! Take a listen to the glorious a cappella harmonies on "General Taylor"! There's the fun, hearty "The Night Pat Murphy Died" as well! It would be surprising if they didn't have fun making this album!
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Play" this! Feb. 12 2003
Format:Audio CD
I can't give kudos enough to Great Big Sea, which is probably the best blend of contemporary and traditional music out there. They're a band from Newfoundland who blend the traditional instruments and drinking songs with incredibly catchy music.
Their music tends to vary a lot, much like the similar band "Rawlins Cross," but they seem to take themselves a lot less seriously. There are sad songs such as "How Did We Get from Saying I Love You..." and "My Apology," which seem to fit "Sea" less well than their bouncier tunes. One of those is the hilariously irreverant "Night Pat Murphy Died," about a bunch of guys who honor their dead friend by getting sozzled, and which contains the lyrics "... we went up to the graveyard/so holy and sublime/found out when we got there/we'd left the corpse behind!" They do a cover of REM's "End of the World" which was so good that I originally thought it was their own song; also there are the delightfully danceable "Rigadoon," "Ordinary Day," or "Jolly Roving Tar." A few aren't as danceable, but still very catchy, like the mostly musicless "General Taylor" or the rhythmic "Donkey Riding."
This Celtic-rock band is probably one of the best out there; you can almost imagine these guys dancing and singing as you listen. Check out this and other albums by Great Big Sea, and don't feel ashamed to sing along. I do it whenever I listen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Way...Hey...And Away We Go!!! Dec 5 2002
Format:Audio CD
This is about as perfect a CD as you can ask for from arguably the greatest band on Earth. Their music is fun and infectious and beyond any sort of label. It will make you sing at the top of your lungs and dance until you fall down. I have never heard anything like these guys before. Every time I play this at my house with visitors present, they want to know who the band is and where they can get a copy of the music. It is THAT good.
The reason I recommend this CD over "Rant and Roar" which was their first U.S. release that contains many of the same songs (and is a bit cheaper) is because the songs that didn't make it on the former album are every bit a good as the ones that did. If you only have "Rant" and have enjoyed killer tunes like "Ordinary Day," "The Night Pat Murphy Died," and a cover of R.E.M.'s "End of the World," you are seriously missing gems like "Donkey Riding" and "Jolly Roaving Tar." There are ten tracks on this CD that didn't make it to the U.S. in their original form (there are a few on the live CD "Road Rage" which is also spectacular). Trust me, you must own "Play."
I cannot praise these guys enough. I wish they got the full recognition they deserved over other bands that are twice as popular and half as good. If you like rock, folk, international, traditional Irish music or anything in between, you will NOT be disappointed by this CD. You have never heard anything like these guys before. Honest!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best band in the world. Sept. 26 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I remember when this CD was released a couple of years back and the group was playing some of their first U.S. dates. I saw them at "the Ark" in Ann Arbor, Michigan with a group of maybe 40 other people and then I went with them to an Irish pub down the street afterwards. Great guys. I cant get near them anymore. The only other time I was this excited by a band was in 1964 when the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan show and I am being very serious. This is a great CD and the only other CD that is this good is their previous CD. "Up". As I said on my review of "Up", listening to GBS is like spending an evening in an Irish pub with people that you love. Listen to this and you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the best band in the world comes from Newfoundland.
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By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
GBS is an excellent, high-energy example of traditional Newfoundland music. For those who don't know, Newfoundland is the eastern-most province in Canada with a strong Irish and French heritage of traditional folk music.
"Play" is the most recent release of this band ("Rant and Roar" is a composition of previous releases specifically made for the U.S. market) and, as with their previous work, is comprised of traditional standards and original songs. They also do a cover version of the REM hit "It's the End of the World as We Know It".
The singing and instrumentation (comprised of fiddle, guitar, bodhran, tin whistle and accordion) on this album is great. I would strongly suggest you see them in concert for maximum enjoyment of GBS's music!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Man, these b'ys are the best! Sept. 9 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I saw Great Big Sea in Calgary at the Stardust Picnic and was an instant fan. I've always liked Celtic music but have never actually bought a Celtic CD (well except for the Pogues). But after seeing that concert, not only have I bought all of the GBS cds, but I have also bought more and more Newfie/Celtic music, such as the Irish Descendants(they are awesome! I hope they break into the US) Rawlin's Cross and ahhh..the name escapes me right now.
Everyone of my friend's who have heard GBS are now die hard fans, I can't believe I missed them at bumpershoot this year!! ARGHH!!!!!!! I plan on going back to Calgary this September to see them again, these b'ys are going to be the next HUGE thing!!
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Like Great Big Sea
My original copy of Great Big Sea disappeared, had to have another. Thanks to Amazon I could, otherwise I would have been forced to search out flea markets for one second hand and... Read more
Published on May 19 2012 by Franky
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Big Album
This is another great album by Great Big Sea. Music is lively, fun and there is a cover of "It's the end of the world (and I feel fine)". Read more
Published on June 25 2010 by Simon Robitaille
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW
I love this CD. I've had it since it came out. It's GREAT!
Published on Nov. 27 2003 by Neil
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Big Sea -- Play
I picked this up at a concert in Nova Scotia. Ny two sons ages(10&12) love it as much as I. One of my most favorite CD's. Full of energy and cultural richness.
Published on Nov. 2 2000 by John Groleau
5.0 out of 5 stars GBS-fabulous
This CD has a sound that is both Celtic and rock. It starts off with a bash with "Ordinary day". Read more
Published on Sept. 15 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars "It doesn't get much better than this"
I was first introduced to Great Big Sea by a very close friend about 1 1/2 years ago...I picked up this CD while I was in Vancouver BC and listened to it on the plane ride back to... Read more
Published on July 28 2000 by Lucidity
5.0 out of 5 stars I actually first heard Great Big Sea on a fishing boat...
...and I instantly fell in love with the music. From the upeat, riotous traditional tunes (during which you would be crazy if you could sit still), to the moving ballads to the... Read more
Published on June 6 2000 by Japhia Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible!
An incredible blend of traditional folk and original compositions - with the driving engergy that could only come from this group or a small nuclear detonation.
Published on Oct. 11 1999
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